Swimwear Startup

LainSnow's evolution

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It’s such a universal feeling that it’s practically a cliche at this point: the dreaded bathing suit try-on, with its unflattering fits, downward spirals of insecurity, and the ever-lingering question of, why can’t someone get this right?

BECCA INGLE, founder of the locally based swim line LainSnow, got it right.

Ingle has been a travel blogger for the past six years, visiting faraway places with her family of four and posing for pictures to highlight destinations throughout the world. “I loved it, but I was wearing everyone else’s clothes and swimwear brands and photographing them on trips and linking to other people’s products,” Ingle says.

While Ingle had plenty of swimsuits she loved (“I have always been bougie about swimwear,” she says), there was something specific that she wasn’t seeing on the market – a flattering mom fit that had a matching option for the kids. She started to reach out to a handful of contacts at swim lines to see if they could partner on a design. While she found some momentum, once COVID hit, all of the potential partners pulled out, but not without first mentioning that “Mommy and me doesn’t sell.”

“It’s just funny looking back what you get devastated about,” Ingle says. “I remember the exact spot I was and how crushed I felt. But then my husband said, ‘Why don’t you just do your own.’”

Obviously, “just do your own” is much easier said than done when it comes to starting a small business and launching a new swim line. But Ingle got to work picking the brains of a few people in the industry and finding a manufacturer in California to send samples back and forth with. She successfully launched LainSnow in April of 2021.

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“We started with three shades of a signature, ribbed, one-piece suit with kids options to match,” Ingle says. “We sold out in the first 30 minutes. It’s crazy. I just designed a swimsuit that I liked!”

Since then, Ingle and the team of LainSnow have introduced new colors, prints, bikinis, and even branching off into nonswimsuit items such as sweatshirts and jewelry. As for the children’s swimsuits, Ingle’s daughter Lainey (who is the namesake for LainSnow), definitely has a say.

“She drew the first one, which is a mini-rash guard because she’s a long-sleeve girl,” Ingle says. “She gets cold all the time so, like me, she wanted a swimsuit that she would like.”

The LainSnow team recently traveled to Florida for Miami Swim Week, with kids walking the runway sporting LainSnow alongside their adult counterparts. Ingle describes the experience as a “pinch-me moment,” especially as her line sparked a unique enthusiasm and energy in the crowd. Being invited to attend the event in general was a win for the LainSnow crew, as just breaking into the industry was a challenge.

NIKKI NETZ, who works at LainSnow, mentions that Ingle has made strides in ensuring that as far as her company is concerned, there is no gatekeeping.

“Becca wants to help people,” Netz says. “She’s very collaborative and has partnered with a bunch of different brands. She wants other people’s businesses to succeed just as much as hers has, and I think that’s a big, rare thing.”

While the success of the business has certainly been worth celebrating, for Ingle it comes with a pang of sadness as her mother passed away suddenly only two weeks before the launch.

“I felt so much support during that time,” Ingle says. “Everyone in my life just wrapped their arms around me. I sort of zeroed in on the swim line because it, my friends, and my family were my sanctuary during that pain.

The stress and grief of this time ultimately contributed to Ingle developing severe stomach issues and eventually being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. While she’s on the up-and-up and says she’s at a turning point through therapy and yoga, she still holds tight to a new standard for the clothes she wears. “It needs to be super comfortable. If it’s hurting me, I’m not wearing it,” she says.

This stance runs throughout all LainSnow products, even those in the future. With “Snow” in the name, it’s safe to bet that Ingle is dreaming up thermals and ski suits that prioritize that LainSnow essence of comfort and style.

“This all started because I wanted a swimsuit that was sexy, held you in, and that I didn’t have to worry about,” Ingle says. “But it’s been so incredible seeing everything take off so fast. I’m trying to just enjoy the moment rather than always being like, ‘Oh what’s next?’ I just want to sit and enjoy the good things because I really do have a lot of them.”

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Categories: Style